literature, writing

Year of Required Reading, Part 1: To Kill a Mockingbird

A series in which I read books on required reading lists and discuss their merits. Ask anyone in the US to name a book they had to read in school, and they will probably say: To Kill a Mockingbird. Ask them to tell you what it's about, and they will probably mumble something about Scout… Continue reading Year of Required Reading, Part 1: To Kill a Mockingbird

Advertisements
art, literature, writing

Best Books of 2018

I know this title is a bit misleading, but this is the same as I've done for the past ten years. These are my favorite books I read in 2018. Most of them were not published in 2018. Best Literary Fiction: Less by Andrew Sean Greer The novel opens with Less as a failed novelist,… Continue reading Best Books of 2018

art, literature, writing

Year of Required Reading, Part 0

As I said in a previous post, I'm going to make 2019 the "Year of Required Reading." I want to take books that I was required to read in school and read them again to get a fresh perspective and to evaluate whether I think they are good choices. I'm posting my list this early… Continue reading Year of Required Reading, Part 0

art, literature, writing

Social Media’s Negative Effect on Prose Style

I've noticed this strange trend in the prose style of novels, and I've wondered why it's happening. I finally realized that the prevalence of social media is almost certainly the culprit. I won't try to write a whole thesis on the history of this type of thing, but I think it's pretty commonly accepted that… Continue reading Social Media’s Negative Effect on Prose Style

art, language, literature, philosophy, writing

Year of Mysteries, Part 9: The Name of the Rose

I'm honestly a bit shocked at how resistant I've been to this book the whole year. I knew it would be "hard," so I kept putting it off. But I love Infinite Jest and Gravity's Rainbow and a bunch of hard books. This book has a reputation it doesn't deserve. I didn't think it was… Continue reading Year of Mysteries, Part 9: The Name of the Rose

art, literature, writing

On Doubts and Taste in Books

Doubt is a good thing when you're a writer. It's an important part of everyone's journey. I don't want to speak in absolutes, but if you've never doubted the greatness of your work, then it's probably not very good. You probably haven't grown much as a writer. Doubt comes in waves. It happens a lot… Continue reading On Doubts and Taste in Books

art, film, literature, writing

Why It Works: The Lord of the Rings

A series in which I oversimplify one concept from a work of literature to make you a better writer. Corruption. The ring corrupts everyone. Quite early on, we learn that Frodo, our hero, is not immune to the corrupting effects. This becomes one of the greatest sources of tension. Will Frodo be able to destroy the… Continue reading Why It Works: The Lord of the Rings